CIRCUS MAXIMUS – Havoc [Japanese Edition] (2016)
“Havoc” is the highly anticipated fourth studio album from Norwegians CIRCUS MAXIMUS, to be appeared March 18, 2016 on Frontiers Music. This is the just released Japanese Edition including bonus tracks.
The band’s musical formula is not easy to pull off. Take jaw-dropping musicianship, singer Michael Eriksen with a voice from the heavens and put it together with hooks, anthemic melodies and enough groove / heavy riffing to satisfy any melodic prog fan, and you’ve got the “Havoc” sound.
“Havoc” is a really mature album from Circus Maximus. It’s different in a way that the influences have been shifted. It doesn’t sound like reiterated rendition of Dream Theater, something that dangerously happened in their past efforts.
The best part of the album is bassist Glenn Mollen: “Havoc” is a bass driven-album. Mollen has shown his exceptional talent as a bassist; just shows how much he loves his instrument, and how love can drive you beyond your limits.
“Pages”, which has been released as a single, and “Highest Bitter” are the songs that gleam brightly in the album because of the magnanimous bass lines they entail.
Introducing the CD with “The Weight”, Circus Maximus really show their best side by just being themselves: no influences attached. It’s rocky and melodic, almost catchy.
Title track is close to hard rock, a metal song infused with their own sound, but the album sticks on with each spin as it seems groovier than the last time; that’s the charm of “Havoc”.
“Loved One” is one on the most melodic Circus Maximus compositions ever, and shows another side from the band with its slow waves.
No doubt Circus Maximus is evolving with each album; when you have extremely talented vocalist like Michael Eriksen and guitarist like Mats Haugen, the band has to be one of the best act of the Century, and it is.
“Havoc” delivers stupendous musicianship, but not overdone. All parts are always at the service of the song.
Haugen’s guitar solos are more melodic and the riffs are more vile, rough and eclectic than before. Michael Eriksen’s voice is soothing as usual; the prose-type singing in the title track is something definitely to look forward to.
If you haven’t heard of Circus Maximus yet, “Havoc” is the album you should start with and then move to the previous. The band has a reputation, and no one can falter that growth.
01 – The Weight
02 – Highest Bitter
03 – Havoc
04 – Pages
05 – Flames
06 – Loved Ones
07 – After The Fire
08 – Remember
09 – Chivalry
10 – Loath (Japanese Bonus Track)
11 – I Am [Live] (Japanese Bonus Track)
Michael Eriksen – Vocals
Mats Haugen – Guitar, backing vocals and programming
Truls Haugen – Drums, backing vocals and percussion
Lasse Finbråten – Keyboards, samples, programming
Glen Møllen – Bass
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